Several senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, including some MPs and MLAs, are unhappy with party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s “style of functioning”. Highly placed sources say that such is the situation in TMC that insiders expect that a major turmoil will hit the party after the Durga Puja celebrations in the state.

The angry leaders are said to be in touch with an important opposition party in Bengal and are even negotiating terms of entry.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior TMC functionary confirmed to this correspondent that some senior leaders who were once close to Mamata Banerjee were unhappy with the Chief Minister and her “dictatorial” ways of functioning and that many were likely to switch sides sometime after Durga Puja.

Earlier this month, at the TMC’s core committee meeting in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee appeared to be visibly upset with some of her senior leaders over reports that some of them were planning to switch sides. According to sources aware of the meeting, she expressed her unhappiness over such reports doing the rounds of the media.

Banerjee apparently told her party leaders that they were free to join any other party if they chose to do so as it was their “personal choice”.

The TMC functionary added, “The Chief Minister’s dictatorial style of functioning is what will bring this party down. As a leader, she should have pacified all her party members to keep the flock together, but instead she is asking them to go. Several MPs and MLAs are unhappy with the party’s handling of several important and sensitive issues, for which they are answerable in their constituency, but they do not have a place to discuss such issues. The CM takes important, far-reaching decisions all by herself and without consulting anyone in the party.” As an example, TMC leaders point to the recent developments in which MP Mukul Roy—who was once known to be Mamata Banerjee’s confidant and is one of the few party leaders with a mass base—was removed from several key posts. He was earlier removed from the parliamentary consultative committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs and from the chairmanship of the parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture. Recently, he was also removed from the party vice president’s post, causing a churn among TMC workers considered to be close to Roy.

Earlier this week, Mukul Roy gave up his Z+ security cover, which was provided to him by the state government.

Speaking to this correspondent, a senior TMC leader and MP from the disgruntled faction said, “Leaders who were there with the party when the party was in its incubation period are being sidelined because of the personal ambitions of our party members who have risen to fame only when the party came to power. The top leadership is busy promoting own family members, while leaders who have worked with their heart and soul for the party are being used as dummies. The TMC has forgotten its core principles and I am certain that many would be deserting the party, come 2019.”

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